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Deepfakes, Dementia, and Diabetes: Navigating AI's Double-edged Sword

Artificial intelligence innovations are on a spectrum that ranges from deeply concerning to profoundly inspiring. In Jersey City, N.J., we learn about Dorota Mani, a mother whose 14-year-old daughter was the victim of AI technology misuse when a deepfake image of her was created. This case is not unique, as similar incidents have been reported across the nation, including in suburban Seattle, Washington. There's been an alarming rise in explicit AI-generated material, with over 143,000 new deepfake videos posted online this year alone, exceeding the total from previous years. This trend has a disproportionate impact on women and children, prompting families affected by these violations to call for stronger safeguards against AI-manipulated images. However, not all AI applications are cause for concern. Halfway across the globe, an innovative project offers hope and companionship to the 401,300 Australians living with dementia. Viv is an AI character created through a collaboration between women with dementia and researchers at the University of NSW Sydney. Led by Dr. Gail Kenning of the fEEL ARC Laureate Lab, this initiative showcases how AI companions can facilitate conversation about dementia, share interests with patients, and foster socio-emotional bonds. In aged care, where resources are limited, AI characters like Viv are more than technological wonders—they're vital partners in care, connecting patients with their care teams and loved ones through the comfort of a screen. The stark contrast between these two uses of AI illustrates the technology's double-edged nature. Misuse of AI demands urgent calls for ethical frameworks, while thoughtful, human-centric applications like Viv demonstrate its potential to offer solace and improve quality of life for those facing life's challenges. In the realm of healthcare, AI's transformative power is evident in a clinical trial at Stanford University, where a voice-based conversational AI application compatible with Amazon's Alexa has been used to manage insulin for patients with type 2 diabetes. The results? The AI app helped patients reach optimal insulin dosing in just 15 days, compared to over 56 days with standard care. Adherence to dosing increased significantly, and patients using the AI app saw remarkable improvements in glycemic control. Beyond physiological benefits, the app also reduced diabetes-related emotional distress, showcasing how AI can enhance overall patient well-being. The creators of this AI solution aim to bridge the gap between home data collection and actionable healthcare interventions, potentially revolutionizing care delivery for diseases beyond diabetes. As we explore AI's vast potential in healthcare, we must also recognize the need for vigilant oversight, especially when it comes to national security. US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has emphasized the importance of preventing countries like China from acquiring advanced semiconductors and AI technologies crucial to US security. Raimondo's export restrictions on sophisticated chips are a firm stance in the ongoing commercial and geopolitical rivalry. She highlights the urgency for sufficient funding to maintain American innovation's lead, drawing a humorous comparison between her department's budget and the cost of a few fighter jets. This narrative reflects a commitment to protecting American innovation while leveraging its potential to revolutionize national security and human health. As AI becomes increasingly significant globally, the balance of power, progress, and protection is more critical than ever. Healthcare exemplifies AI's capacity for good, while the broader economic and geopolitical landscape reminds us that with great power comes great responsibility. The impact of AI technology is profound, affecting personal health today and shaping the geopolitical power structures of tomorrow. As these technologies continue to evolve, their influence extends beyond borders and sectors, reinforcing their transformative nature in our lives. Links:


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